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December 17, 2017

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Song ‘Water and a Flame’ ignites controversy for Celine Dion


Tom Donoghue/

Rene Angelil and Celine Dion arrive at the “Veronic Voices” premiere at Bally’s on Friday, June 28, 2013.

Australian singer-songwriter Daniel Merriweather posted some ugly comments on his Facebook page after Celine Dion’s appearance on Katie Couric’s talk show “Katie.” He said that Celine debuted the new title track of her upcoming English-language album without giving him credit. In fact, his “Water and a Flame” was released in 2009, and British star Adele sang it on her album. Celine told Katie how much she loved Adele’s version.

Las Vegas DJ regular Samantha Ronson saw the interview and posted her own snarky tweet: “Dear Celine Dion, when you COVER someone else’s song, you might want to give them credit.” That led to the tirade from Daniel, and his viral remarks tore around the world Tuesday: “Adele didn’t write one word or melody of ‘Water and a Flame,’ and she’ll be the first to tell you that,” he said, adding, “It is astounding that Celine Dion tries to pass off lyrics that I wrote as her own.”

Celine’s management promptly issued a statement: “Despite the headlines that have emerged from Daniel’s publicity, Celine certainly doesn’t claim in any way whatsoever that she wrote the song. While we can understand Daniel’s disappointment by not having his name mentioned during Katie Couric’s interview, it’s rather unfair to Celine to be on the receiving end of the many disparaging comments that have now become public.

“Throughout Celine’s 32-year career, she has always been very vocal about sharing the credit for her successes. She has been very vocal about the fact that she does not write her own songs … and that she is fortunate to have wonderful and talented writers to provide these gifts to her. For her to be accused of ‘stealing’ a song is not only grossly inaccurate, but also very hurtful. During the thousands of interviews that she’s given over the years, it’s often that she will not mention the names of the writers involved. It’s something that may not come up a lot in the interviews.

“That said, when a Celine Dion album is released, we ‘always’ include complete and accurate writer credits, and they are inside the CD packaging for her new English album released worldwide this fall. We are very excited about this new album, and we hope to have great success with it and great success for all those who have contributed.

“She loves Daniel Merriweather and the song so much and would never want to do any harm … nor take away anything … in fact, the opposite would be true. We hope this clears up any misconceptions regarding Celine’s intentions.”

Robin Leach has been a journalist for more than 50 years and has spent the past decade giving readers the inside scoop on Las Vegas, the world’s premier platinum playground.

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